0917: "Hofstadter"

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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

Tit riots are jay.

Jays and tits may be more closely related than we thought.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby mooncow » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Plutarch wrote:
karanj wrote:Plutarch, meta is the commonly used prefix for self-referential; it says so right in the Wikipedia article.


I must be missing somethign obvious here, but… I see how it's used as a prefix, but I still don't understand what it means when used on its own. What does it mean to say 'I'm so meta?'


Plutarch, you're right it doesn't really *mean* anything, it is an informal usage. What it's getting at is that Douglas Hofstadter is interested, and has written (at length) about, numerous diverse topics that it is difficult to reliably explain the common link between, and yet they indubitably *do* have a common link. Basically, they all have something to do with self-reference, self-description, recursion, levels of reference: all sorts of psychological, logical, computational or philosophical topics which tend to have names with "meta-" on the front, even if sometimes the name with "meta-" on the front needs to be invented first. You could replace "meta" with "interested/expert/obsessed/verbose on topics with 'meta' in their names", but this wouldn't make such a snappy cartoon, and would really foul up the acronym...

The best way to understand "meta" as used here is to read the entire published works of Douglas Hofstadter. See you in fourteen years' time!

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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby mooncow » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:21 pm UTC

darkoan wrote:I don't quite get the alt text acronym


You're trying too hard. The alt text is the reference implementation of the self-referential joke, appropriately quoted. Acronym support will be introduced in the Black Hat v1.1 distro.

"is the reference implementation of the Quine-variant self-referential joke, when appended to its quotation."

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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Let's make up cleverness where there is none!

AKA: All jokes that have been ever made... ever.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby 4=5 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:03 pm UTC

Hofstadter's Contracrostipunctus Acrostically Backwards Spells J. s. bach
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

A_of_s_t wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:Let's make up cleverness where there is none!

AKA: All jokes that have been ever made... ever.


No, no, I mean the "I think the alt-text MUST be a clever acronym, even after I read the acronym and it doesn't mean shit!" thing. Really, people?

I'm not commenting about the comic. I actually liked the joke (even though I think the Hofstadter reference is completely unnecessary and only harms the comic).
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
A_of_s_t wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:Let's make up cleverness where there is none!

AKA: All jokes that have been ever made... ever.


No, no, I mean the "I think the alt-text MUST be a clever acronym, even after I read the acronym and it doesn't mean shit!" thing. Really, people?

I'm not commenting about the comic. I actually liked the joke (even though I think the Hofstadter reference is completely unnecessary and only harms the comic).

Ah, completely my misunderstanding.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby bmonk » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:22 pm UTC

I'm just left wondering what sort of anagrams we can make from this comic.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby rigwarl » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

I'm a bit confused. The "I'm so meta, even this acronym" is brilliant! Did Randall or Hofstadter first come up with it? I assume Randall but the comic makes it look like Hofstadter.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby webdude » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

Dang, this one was funny!


Attention nitpickers: Really? You have trouble pronouncing "ismeta?"
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:48 pm UTC

I always first read Hofstadter's books backwards just to check if they're giant palindromes. And they're only SOMEWHAT less head-spinning that way.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby samwyse » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

I'm too meta for my love
Too meta for my love
Love's going to leave me

I'm too meta for my shirt
Too meta for my shirts
So meta it hurts

And I'm too meta for Milan
Too meta for Milan
New York and Japan

And I'm too meta for your party
Too meta for your party
No way I'm disco dancing

I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk, yeah
I do my little turn on the catwalk

I'm too meta for my car
Too meta for my car
Too meta by far

And I'm too meta for my hat
Too meta for my hat
What do you think about that?

I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk

I'm too meta for my
Too meta for my too meta for my

'Cos I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk yea on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk

I'm too meta for my cat
Too meta for my cat
Poor pussy poor pussy cat

I'm too meta for my love
Too meta for my love
Love's going to leave me

And I'm too meta for this song
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby RobKohr » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:20 pm UTC

I created a wiki for GEB:
http://editthis.info/geb/

Feel free to add your thoughts on various parts of it.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Various Varieties » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:38 pm UTC

ChrisAfonso wrote:The most meta movie I can think of is "Adaptation". A screenwriter adapting a book by writing about himself adapting it.

I love that film - it doesn't seem to be quite as well-regarded as Charlie Kaufman's two best-known screenplays, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but I think it's just as good.

The film gets even more self-referential towards the end, when the climax intentionally veers into the sort of clichéd action thriller the in-film "Charlie Kaufman" has been putting down throughout...

And then he went on to direct Synechdoche, New York, which went even further with the self-referentiality, but put me off through being so relentlessly downbeat.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby neoliminal » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:07 pm UTC

Douglas Hofstadter is god.

I once wrote him about my programming language (it's called garbage). It takes any ascii text as code and tries to do natural language analysis on it. It then presents the results as ascii text. When run with the optional -r parameter it allows you to run the results again. garbage in, garbage out.

He was curious about the work, and actually replied, but only to say he was interested in the work.

Hence, Douglas Hofstadter is god.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Lazy Tommy » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Plutarch wrote:I saw that it was to be read as 'I'm so meta, even this acronym is meta' but as I don't know what it means to be 'meta' this didn't get me very far. The wikipedia article on 'meta' hasn't enlightened me.


Dictionary.com works better here:

meta-

1. a prefix appearing in loanwords from Greek, with the meanings “after,” “along with,” “beyond,” “among,” “behind,” and productive in English on the Greek model: metacarpus; metagenesis; metalinguistics.


The usage here is "beyond". As in, "physics" is when people are talking about nature; "metaphysics" is when people are talking about physics. So, "meta" is "referential". Not necessarily self-referential, but after reading Hofstadter's most famous book, Gödel, Escher, Bach, the distinction tends to get blurred...
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Lazy Tommy » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

chrth wrote:I humbly admit I failed to finish GEB. My brain simply doesn't work that way. I've read a few Umberto Eco books, tho, does that help my case?


I think you're OK. :-) I personally found GEB to be a great read, thought-provoking and fun, but if you're not into philosophical mind-twisters, it's probably not for you. With apologies to Seinfeld, not that there's anything wrong with that! (I'm not sure if I could read it again now, 30 years later -- I have a hunch that I might just find it annoying and tiresome now. But back then I thought it was cool and that's good enough for me.)

Regarding Eco, I like The Name of the Rose and I love Foucault's Pendulum but his more recent books haven't really done it for me.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Turnpin » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

I'm so meta, even this acronym, more exactly termed acrostic

Seriously did anyone really finish reading GEB?

Skimming the last third doesn't count
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby sfiller » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:41 am UTC

Your search - "douglas hoftadter" "warren s mcculloch" "michael leyton" - did not match any documents.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Eternal Density » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:59 am UTC

o_oll wrote:tit riot self referential joke
Bam.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Shar » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:30 am UTC

GEB took me over a year to read, but it was definitely worth it! If nothing else, read the dialogues in between each chapter, and you'll get a sense for the main ideas even if the representations of number theory are rough going.

Is it coincidence that as I was approaching the end of the book, it suddenly seemed like a good idea to me to go to grad school for Natural Language Processing? :D
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby addams » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:15 am UTC

You are better men than I am.
That kind of reading will drive the joy of the written word out of me.
I am glad that we have such smart people.

I like the jokes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-joke
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby MrsBseBall8 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:24 am UTC

Take this to the third level?
I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym --> IS META --> I M

No? It's okay. I also skimmed the last third of GEB.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby vodka.cobra » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:23 am UTC

thret wrote:This may be the best XKCD ever.

Anyone who hasn't read GEB is of course, living in sin.

"If you don't share my knowledge of some trivial and obscure piece of pop culture you are [negative description]" is old, unfunny, and really fucking condescending. Fuck off, will ya?
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Crystal Myr » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:12 am UTC

vodka.cobra wrote:
thret wrote:This may be the best XKCD ever.

Anyone who hasn't read GEB is of course, living in sin.

"If you don't share my knowledge of some trivial and obscure piece of pop culture you are [negative description]" is old, unfunny, and really fucking condescending. Fuck off, will ya?


No--less funny, more fact. I am a better, nicer, more practical, and happier person because I read Gödel, Escher Bach and I am a Strange Loop. They may very well change your whole outlook on reality. Thick as it gets, but more than worth the investment.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby MonkeyBoy » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:03 am UTC

bmonk wrote:I'm just left wondering what sort of anagrams we can make from this comic.


Conversation emits mayhem.
Omit commentary heaviness.
Monotheism craves amenity.
Hesitance moves matrimony.
Machinery motivates meson.
Atheist man conveys memoir.
Activism theorem annoys me.

First post, by the way. So hi! [waves]*

*Not an anagram... at least, not of this comic.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby MonkeyBoy » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:07 am UTC

MrsBseBall8 wrote:Take this to the third level?
I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym --> IS META --> I M


One more even kinda works:

I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym
IS META
I'M
I
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby mcv » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:02 am UTC

thecowgoesmoo wrote:I thought acronyms are supposed to be read as single word?


My first thought was that "Acrostic" might have worked better.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby mcv » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am UTC

Turnpin wrote:Seriously did anyone really finish reading GEB?

Skimming the last third doesn't count

I read all the dialogues. Does that count?
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby feyayeruka » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:19 am UTC

PhilHibbs wrote:Did the beta version of this strip say "I'm So Beta Even This Acronym"?

GOLD! I can't believe no one else picked up on that.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby NOLFXceptMe » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:53 am UTC

samwyse wrote:I'm too meta for my love
Too meta for my love
Love's going to leave me

I'm too meta for my shirt
Too meta for my shirts
So meta it hurts

And I'm too meta for Milan
Too meta for Milan
New York and Japan

And I'm too meta for your party
Too meta for your party
No way I'm disco dancing

I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk, yeah
I do my little turn on the catwalk

I'm too meta for my car
Too meta for my car
Too meta by far

And I'm too meta for my hat
Too meta for my hat
What do you think about that?

I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk

I'm too meta for my
Too meta for my too meta for my

'Cos I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk yea on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk

I'm too meta for my cat
Too meta for my cat
Poor pussy poor pussy cat

I'm too meta for my love
Too meta for my love
Love's going to leave me

And I'm too meta for this song


And sing it to the tune of "Handlebars"? Brilliant.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Linkinator07 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:50 am UTC

mcv wrote:
Turnpin wrote:Seriously did anyone really finish reading GEB?

Skimming the last third doesn't count

I read all the dialogues. Does that count?


I never read GEB, but I read a review on it.

(Yea, I actually read it, but just think about the statement for 5 seconds before you flame me?)
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby dsawatzky » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

radtea wrote:
What does it mean to say 'I'm so meta?'


It means you can no longer tell the difference between a sincere question and a very subtle form of nerd-sniping.


Meta information is the stuff that is not said explicitly. Take a person behind a podium and mic. He/she says nothing, but the meta information tells most of the story: the sex of the person, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, the expression on their face, their stance, the powerpoint presentation in the background... META information applies to everything. Even this webpage.
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta http-equiv="content-style-type" content="text/css" />
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-gb" />
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no" />
<meta name="resource-type" content="document" />
<meta name="distribution" content="global" />
<meta name="copyright" content="2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group" />
<meta name="keywords" content="" />
<meta name="description" content="" />
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7; IE=EmulateIE9" />
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:31 pm UTC

Crystal Myr wrote:No--less funny, more fact. I am a better, nicer, more practical, and happier person because I read Gödel, Escher Bach and I am a Strange Loop.


And the only thing you have demonstrated is that it works for you, not for everyone else.

Crystal Myr wrote:They may very well change your whole outlook on reality. Thick as it gets, but more than worth the investment.


And that attitude of "lol I am so awesome for reading that book that I have to criticise everyone that hasn't in order to inflate my own ego" motivates people NOT to read the goddamn book. That kind of hype is beyond annoying. Letting people know one likes the book is okay, but appending irritating and condescending offenses to that is begging for torture. I think that's what vodka.cobra was trying to say. Less fact, more opinion.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby ginbot » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

Like everybody else, this has got me another perceptual&perpetual - self-referential loop. Though admittedly, I was more of a Martin Gardner fan ("Aha! Insight" and "Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight"). But, probably cause I don't have the tenacity to totally wrap myself around GEB (maybe now ..) Anyways, I love Hofstadter's "Light is a -----" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambigrams
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby Hirg » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:50 pm UTC

This might be more appropriate in another thread, but I have to run and wanted to get it down before I forgot...

I tried to read Gödel, Escher, Bach a few years ago, and couldn't get through it because Hofstadter's writing just seemed arrogant. Anyone have opinions on this, or think that book is worth reading even with the arrogance? Also, is Hofstadter's writing really arrogant, or was it just my own youthful inanity? From the comic, it seems like Mr. Munroe might think he's arrogant, too (ha, tied it back to today's comic).
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby addams » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:36 pm UTC

dsawatzky wrote:
radtea wrote:
What does it mean to say 'I'm so meta?'


It means you can no longer tell the difference between a sincere question and a very subtle form of nerd-sniping.


Meta information is the stuff that is not said explicitly. Take a person behind a podium and mic. He/she says nothing, but the meta information tells most of the story: the sex of the person, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, the expression on their face, their stance, the powerpoint presentation in the background... META information applies to everything. Even this webpage.
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta http-equiv="content-style-type" content="text/css" />
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-gb" />
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no" />
<meta name="resource-type" content="document" />
<meta name="distribution" content="global" />
<meta name="copyright" content="2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group" />
<meta name="keywords" content="" />
<meta name="description" content="" />
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7; IE=EmulateIE9" />


That is good. That post gets a lot of information and understand across the cyber chasm.
Nice.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby MikeDamrat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:53 pm UTC

dsawatzky wrote:Meta information is the stuff that is not said explicitly.


I'm not sure that's quite what is implied by the term meta. My understanding was that meta-information is information about the information. The term is used often in technology to refer to data that is given to help understand other data that you've been given. The <meta> tags in an HTML document, for instance, usually describe the very HTML document of which they are a part.

As a general term, "meta" usually implies self-reference in some way.
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:27 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Crystal Myr wrote:No--less funny, more fact. I am a better, nicer, more practical, and happier person because I read Gödel, Escher Bach and I am a Strange Loop.


And the only thing you have demonstrated is that it works for you, not for everyone else.

Crystal Myr wrote:They may very well change your whole outlook on reality. Thick as it gets, but more than worth the investment.


And that attitude of "lol I am so awesome for reading that book that I have to criticise everyone that hasn't in order to inflate my own ego" motivates people NOT to read the goddamn book. That kind of hype is beyond annoying. Letting people know one likes the book is okay, but appending irritating and condescending offenses to that is begging for torture. I think that's what vodka.cobra was trying to say. Less fact, more opinion.

Mm-hm. Yep. Which is exactly why Crystal Myr DIDN'T SAY THAT. Where in that post does anything look like a criticism?
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Re: 0917: "Hofstadter"

Postby xX17GHDUDE17Xx » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

Vodka could've not cursed and been less of a douchebag but meh.

I first heard of G.E.B. long ago on these very fora, and now, nearly two years later, I can proudly say that I have finished the book.... once. I'm reading it through again to gleam some more information from it that I might've missed. For example, I missed the whole acrostic sentence from one of the beginning dialogues the first time through. A book that long and full of self-reference and tricks as G.E.B. is GOING to take more than one read through for even the most diligent reader.

The comic was amazing today. I imagine if Hofstadter knew about this short autobiography, he'd embrace it (or at the very least adore the idea and find a way to make it funnier with more levels of reference).
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Wrong. All that does is eliminate humanity's depth perception.
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